Historic Hartlepool boat brought back to life


Venus – one of the oldest surviving cobles – was launched in 1900 as a pilot ship and worked from Hartlepool seeking vessels to pilot in the Tees.

She is currently being restored by the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society (BSCPS) after being handed over to the volunteer group by Hartlepool Borough Council last year.

Venus has now come out of the company’s workshop and is now ready for final outfitting and rigging for sailing.

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Venus now resembles the shape of a ship

This is the second time the boat has been rescued from a watery grave.

In the early 1990s she was restored and put back to sail by Hartlepool GP Dr Dave Kipling and ownership then passed to the council.

Along with the Double Ended Viking, she became a floating museum exhibit at the city’s Jackson Dock alongside the sternwheeler Wingfield Castle.

Both were in poor condition, often filling with water and sinking, and it was agreed that both craft would be transferred to BSCPS ownership.

What the boat looked like halfway through the restoration

A BSCPS spokesperson said: ‘The restoration began in August last year and when it finally rolled out of the workshop at the end of January, you wouldn’t believe the transformation. Its clean lines and profile are enhanced by its black hull and cream interior color, replicating the color of those pilot cobles of a bygone era.

He added: “If anyone doubts what can be done to save and restore neglected cables, look no further than the work that has been done on Venus by the BSCPS team. We hope it inspires the many traditionalists who rejoice to see our heritage crafts of the northeast coast under

Viking is also to be restored.

The annual Bridlington Sailing Coble Festival will take place the weekend of 23rd and 24th July with an unofficial sailing day on Friday 22nd July.

The organizers would like to hear from anyone with a traditional boat who would like to be part of it.

For more details, email [email protected] or by post to BSCPS, Harbor Office, Gummers Wharf, Bridlington, YO15 3AN.

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